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Iran: Rouhani Stresses Need to Engage With World to Spur Investment Growth

Voters in the presidential election demonstrated they are aware that generating jobs and bolstering the economy is possible only by attracting investment, which can be achieved by ensuring security, tranquility and freedom
President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a press conference in Tehran on May 22.President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a press conference in Tehran on May 22.

President Hassan Rouhani says the only way to stimulate the underperforming economy is to promote investment, which in turn requires engagement with the outside world.  

The president made the remarks on Monday in his first press conference after his reelection. He won 57% of the vote on Friday. More than 23 million people for him.

The outright victory, mainly handed by pro-reform constituencies who preferred his pragmatic ways and practical pledges over populist promises of his conservative rivals, presented him with a bigger mandate to push ahead with  sweeping economic plans to implement structural reforms such as restructuring the banking and tax systems, improving the business environment, fostering foreign trade, removing hurdles to foreign investment and technology and rewriting  monetary and fiscal policies to accelerate much-needed economic growth.

"People voted for our plans as they are aware of the fact that generating jobs and bolstering the economy is possible only through investments, which can be achieved by ensuring security, tranquility and freedom," the president said.

  Building Better Ties

"[Encouraging] investment needs constructive interaction with the world," he stressed.

Reflecting on Friday's vote, he said it demonstrated "national cohesion" and indicated Iranians' will to forge better relations with the international community.

"The people conveyed to the world that they are ready to cooperate with the international community based on mutual respect and common interests."

On the intensified anti-Iran rhetoric of US officials, the chief executive said Washington has never benefitted  from employing a hostile approach toward the Islamic Republic.

"The Americans have used various methods, including sanctions, against Iran, but they have always been unsuccessful… But when they showed respect to the Iranian nation and sat at the negotiating table with their representatives, we could reach a win-win result which was to the benefit of Iran, the US and the world," he said, referring to the 2015 nuclear deal that resolved the lingering dispute over the nuclear energy program.

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